Memorial Day Style Guide: Makeup, Hair & Clothing

Published on: 05/13/2021 9:53 pm

Looking forward to the long weekend? We feel that. Listen closely and you can almost hear those grills being cleaned as people prepare for their beach trips, lake stays, hiking adventures, and backyard bbqs.

Knowing what to wear on Memorial Day is a critical component – no matter how you choose to celebrate. As the unofficial start of summer, many consider the holiday the natural marker of the seasons. Schools are letting out, the temps are rising, and folks are ready to celebrate the day.

What better way to do so than to don some Memorial Day colors to wear for the weekend’s festivities? If you’re feeling patriotic, red, white, and blue is always a safe bet. However, you can also tone down the outright patriotism while staying true to the day by wearing stripes, denims, or shades of white.

With that, let the Memorial Day fashion planning begin! We’ve curated a lookbook of ideas that cover you head to toe from hair and makeup to threads.

Memorable Makeup Looks

Memorial day makeup is pretty simple. Or at least it should be. There’s a strong possibility you’re going to be celebrating outdoors. That means contending with the elements and potentially working up a sweat.

Just a few basics should do the trick. Think: bronzed cheeks, a statement brow, and effortless lashes. If you want to take things up a notch, a slick of red on the lips is always appropriate. However, if you’re off to a barbeque, you may want to opt for a glossy option and spare your host’s napkins.

Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen on hand, too. Pink, sunburned skin is absolutely not a vibe.

Hairstyles for the Holiday

Again, we say style with the outdoors in mind. When a big beach hat is in the mix, secure your hair in a braid or two. A simple updo is also always on point, but if you really want to show off your locks, have some hair accessories in tow.

We’re not the only ones who are pumped to see the headband make a comeback. They let your hair move without constantly getting in your face, a key consideration when there will be ample snacking involved.

Sick of seeing bandanas used as face covers? Use them to add a stylish flourish to your hair. Tie it in a knot atop your crown, or fold the bandana into a small triangle for more coverage and secure underneath your hairline. If you have bangs or fringe, we recommend pulling them out so they frame your face.

Clothing To Commemorate the Day

It’s always good to have a few different Memorial Day outfit ideas to choose from. Your Memorial Day style is ultimately dictated by your plans.

Naturally, a neighborhood block party will require different attire than a boat party on the lake. In general, a long summery dress is usually a safe bet. Stay away from heavy fabrics like velvet or corduroy, though it’s ok to throw a flannel around your waist for when the sun starts to set.

You’re also likely to see a fair amount of denim. Shorts, jeans, and jackets are all ideal for the day. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to try out white denim, now’s definitely the time.

Same goes for joggers. The look won’t feel right for everyone, but if you’ve fallen in love with a particularly cute pair of sweats, there are certainly ways to fancy them up for public.

As for shoes, it’s a pretty strictly sneakers or sandals situation. Going with the former? We recommend fashion sneakers instead of your running tennies. Also, we know white shoes can be a bit controversial, but in this case we say go for it! Sandals can be thick and platformy or thin and strappy depending on the rest of your Memorial Day ensemble.

For jewelry, we say keep it simple. A pair of gold hoop earrings can pull almost anything together.

One thing to keep in mind: some folks consider wearing the American flag disrespectful. Though that’s not a universally held belief, if you’re celebrating with a group you don’t know very well, it may be better to forego it just in case.

Memorial Day Style FAQs

Left with questions? We’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions around what you wear on Memorial Day.

What colors should you avoid on Memorial Day?

Anyone who tells you what colors to wear on Memorial Day is really only stating their preference. You know your loved ones and how dressed up y’all like to get or not. Consider the locale and work backwards from there, knowing that you can go for the obvious colors (reds, whites, and blues), but you certainly don’t have to.

Why can’t you wear white before Memorial Day?

Spring and fall have their own color palettes, so wearing white before the unofficial start of summer can make it seem like you’re skipping ahead.

Can you wear white after Memorial Day?

Yes! Memorial Day through Labor Day is the ideal time to wear this crisp, light shade.

Finding a stylist is the quickest way to get you looking and feeling fresh for what is likely to be one of your first group outings in some time. Sign up now to make this Memorial Day the most memorable one yet.

Gina Rivera

Gina Rivera

Beauty Icon and Expert

Gina Rivera skyrocketed to success when the company she founded in 2007, Phenix Salon Suites, became the fastest-growing salon suite company in the beauty industry. With more than 300 locations nationally and international expansion occurring in the UK, Entrepreneur Magazine named Phenix Salon Suites a Top 500 Franchise list seven years running.